Corr Awn Zahm, trapped within a magic circle for centuries, shared a brief history of the Second Mortainne War, of how he, a Comte, roused his subjects, through an alliance with House Wolfe and House Denwar, to stand against his father, the despot, Corran duc Zahn.
duc Zahn had broken the treaty with Darach-Tor, seeking to reclaim the Borderlands which had once been the height of his mortal powers on Enochia. He was put down, and sealed within a tomb beneath the fabled Keep on the Borderlands, but now he was free once more, and the son would once more stand against father.
He begged release, offering a contract between the Bordermen of Brigand’s Rest in exchange for his freedom — an infernal favor, no questions asked. After a short debate, it was decided to aid him and Arthur attempted to de-mark the circle with his silver dagger. Unfortunately, the magic was too strong. It destroyed the dagger, but Comte Zahm was still trapped.
Zahm assured them that somewhere in this crypt would be that which would aid his escape. If they were to find the item necessary, he agreed to add another boon — a second infernal favor.
When they raised their concerns about the undead, he told them how to bind their bodies upon death — by encircling them with funerary ash.
They were all in agreement.
Arthur uncovered a secret tunnel that led them to a long hall, where they spotted one of the hooded undead sentries. Stealthily they crept forward. Byron discovered a secret door that opened into a small storage room.
Inside, the bowman found ransacked crates — the contents lying about, including three peculiar arrows, some bits of scrimshaw, a backpack, and an ornate chest.
There was also a large crate in the corner with someone or something trapped inside. It spoke, “Help me… I am so thirsty.”
Byron went to the creatures aid, prying one of the boards loose. A man, pale and emaciated stared out at him. “Free me,” he said. “I thirst.” Byron, compelled to aid him tore another board loose.
“Who are you?” Byron asked.
“My name is Dalv Lukard,” he said, hungrily. He lunged for the archer, but Byron was able to dart away, retreating to the far side of the room. He gathered up the arrows and the chest, preparing to escape.
Meanwhile, Edmund investigated a set of double doors, slightly ajar. Peering inside, quiet as a mouse, he saw past a vestibule guarded by the undead to see a large ceremonial chamber, with an elaborate altar beneath a statue of some avenging celestial figure. Surrounding the altar were a number of strange acolytes, their leader proclaiming the beginnings of some sort of apocalypse they they were intent on igniting and how they would rule from the ashes that remained.
Denwar and Gray engaged the undead sentry down the hall while Kilraven and Arthur went to look after Byron.
Arthur tried to use his torch to force the fiend back into the crate, but, bursting free, Lukard got a taste of Hawke blood and became frenzied and incredibly strong. Arthur, standing between the bloodthirsty villain and Prince Erik, was then snatched up by the creature as it sank its teeth into his neck.
The fiend was a vampire.
Having dispatched the undead sentry, Denwar raced back while Gray encircled its body with ash. Everyone quickly came to Arthur’s aid as Edmund harried the bloodsucker with his spear. Then Byron, discovering magical properties in the arrows he’d liberated, buried two of them into the vampire’s chest.
Lukard hurled Arthur away from him, bellowing in rage.
Denwar and Kilraven drug their unconscious companion to safety and administered first aide, staunching the flow of blood from the wounds on his arm and throat.
As Edmund prepared to strike again at the vampire, it suddenly transformed into a mist and passed from the chamber and into the hall, traveling east toward the smell of rotting corpses.
What will happen in next week’s
senses-shattering season finale?